In plotting these posts out I have often found myself encroaching from the intended content of one post to another. I have also had difficulties in the order of them. Hopefully they will make sense when the month is up, but in case they don’t I ask that you forgive any rambling repetitions or illogical sequencing.
For this first post I want to focus on the potential for a LMS for the New Zealand Public Library. This is off course coming from Kotui, and while I have something to say on Koha, I have tried not to re-litigate the recent NZ-Libs discussions.
To me, if we are creating the NZPLS then it would have a single LMS. There would be many advantages including a single licence which could potentially save money. Especially if you went down the Open Source route and used Koha. Working on an estimate that the combined public libraries in New Zealand spend upwards of over a million dollars a year in service fees, there is the potential to not only save money, but to also create a long term development team that focuses on improvements to the LMS. I am not sure how much you would save with a proprietary system as they tend to change their prices according to how many branches and people you serve.
You could then have a single database for users and resources, configuring the OPACS so that they could either show every item in all libraries or just the ones in your immediate area. Then naturally you would only need one team of cataloguers maintaining the records, which could be seen as a positive in freeing up resources around the country for Reader Experience. It could also be a negative in that it could lead to staff losses. I will be looking at staffing in a later post.
My next post will deal with the management of the system.